Monday, March 02, 2009

Danny Boyle via Ray and Radcliffe

As a result of a horrendous scheduling problem lasting the entire length of my life until yesterday, I always seem to have something to do other than watch Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy. This, considering Kurosawa said 'Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun and the moon', was a pretty serious oversight. Anyway, Kurosawa's right. I am two thirds of the way through and utterly stricken by Ray's ability to sanctify life in its most banal aspects. I was going to make some snide comparison between Ray's India and that of Danny Boyle in Slumdog Millionaire. But then Boyle was all over the news taking his Oscar back to his home town which is... Radcliffe! I come from about a mile north of Radcliffe (near Ainsworth). Much of my early reading matter came from Radcliffe Public Library and I watched Radcliffe play cricket when the Central Lancashire League allowed one professional per team and, as a result, included Gary Sobers, Wes Hall, Frank Worrell and Charlie Griffith. (I remember the latter splitting the head of our opener, Ken Settle, with his first ball, a savage bouncer. There was a splash of blood and Ken went down with sickening finality. But he was okay, he was from Radcliffe where blows to the head with hard objects travelling unfeasibly quickly are a daily event. (If this memory has been distorted, please don't tell me.)) All of which is to say two things - Danny's okay and, if you haven't watched Apu, do so at once.

13 comments:

  1. Excellent advice - shockingly I have only seen two of the trilogy for some reason and a long time ago. I remember grass and a train...

    Must er visit Radcliffe.

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  2. If you think that's shocking, Anonymous, this is going to rock your world... I'd never heard of Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy!

    I have however heard of Radcliffe. Mrs Brit hails from Castleton so I've done the rounds, have even spent a few hours drinking J W Lees and watching league cricket in Middleton. Good pies to be had in Bury market but it seems like the sun never shines anywhere in that big, rambling conglomeration of mourning mill towns and dark pubs.

    Wasn't too sure about Boyle's homecoming stunt. It was a bit I'm Still I'm Still Jenny from the Block.

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  3. The Manchester road out of Bury passes the Coachworks of a deceased toff.
    Some years ago it housed a producer of plastic stuff among which was the Jane Fonda step box, remember that, step aerobics? £70 to buy, £7 to produce, an ahem, good little earner. The plant was working around the clock meeting demand. One of the owners was wandering around Bury market when he noticed a stall flogging..the Jane Fonda stepbox. "Are they any good ?" he enquired of the stall holder, "yeah, wanna buy one?", "well, where do they come from" he asked, "oh this bloke lives near the coachwork's gets them for me"
    Needless to say the forces of law and order were called in.
    It turned out that 20% of his production was channelled through Bury market, a township of true entrepreneurial spirit I should say.
    Is cricket as bloodthirsty as rugby, it sounds like it.
    Satyajit who?

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  4. Dear god, has anyone clicked on Bryan's Radcliffe link and read the first line?

    Alas, Wikipedia, you dreamed the dream but human nature let you down.

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  5. I also spent most of my childhood in Radcliffe watching Sir Gary and co.

    Strange we never met.

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  6. I knew you weren't too stubborn to come around.

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  7. Dear god again - they've fixed the Wikipedia page already!

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  8. That's two dear God's in one afternoon Brit, any more and people will begin to suspect you're the pope, your holiness.

    Is this Apu geezer another one I have to add to the Amazon wish list, the blogs becoming a tad expensive.
    Susan, ten out of ten, Dexter is a hoot, how are things at the chalkface ?

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  9. Sigh, I've never been to Manchester and at this rate I'll never be able to afford to go. Malty's right: another packet arrived today from Amazon containing something suggested by this blog. Besides, I'm not sure I'll be able to venture north even of Bromsgrove in view of what Douglas Adams said about it: "Bromsgrove (n): Any urban environment containing a small amount of dogturd and about forty-five tons of bent steel pylon or a lump of concrete with holes claiming to be sculpture."

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  10. Ray's "Charulata" is even more poetic and charming.

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  11. Old InternationalMarch 02, 2009 10:05 pm

    I was delighted when Danny Boyle (Bury) was presented with his Bafta by Ian McKellen (from Wigan and ex Bolton School) and Patrick Stewart (Mirfeld, near Huddersfield. All grew up within about 30 miles of each other, all of them big-time box office, and all of them internationally celebrated. There's a keen artistic sensibilty in those 'mourning mill towns' (copyright Brit). From Morrissey to Manchester United, we still have quite a bit to offer the world.

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  12. Malty, dear, we've gone from Freud to Kafka in my classes. If things get any darker, I'll have to turn into a roach. BTW, the boys (hub and son) and I are thinking of another jaunt to Edinburgh in July. We'll get out of town to hike and I think you are just the man to ask where to go....

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  13. While I'm grateful for Morrissey, Old International, the North West can shove its Manchester United right up its mourning mill town rear end. (And thanks for acknowledging the copyright).

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